Pakistan, Britain discuss extradition of suspects, money laundering cases


LONDON: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar on Thursday met British Home Secretary Sajid Javid in London.

The two discussed issues of mutual interest, particularly those related to the provision of mutual legal assistance, extradition requests, prisoner transfer agreement and steps to curb money laundering as well as recovery of assets acquired through illegal means.

They also discussed matters pertaining to assistance and support on technical matters, analytical advice and skills capacity building. Akbar also held meetings with other representatives of the UK government. The premier’s special assistant met Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor of the International Justice & Organised Crime Division Debbie Price and Head of the UK Central Authority Philomena Creffield. During the meeting, the two sides agreed on working closely at an operational level and enhancing collaboration in the areas of information sharing. Progress on specific cases for extradition requests made to the UK government was also discussed.

The premier’s special assistant also called on UK Prime Minister’s Anti-Corruption Champion and Member of Parliament John Penrose at Portcullis House to discuss strategies for making joint efforts in curbing corruption and plugging existing loopholes at home and abroad.

Later on, he visited the Foreign and Commonwealth Office where he was received by UK Special Representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP) Gareth Bayley. Both sides discussed bilateral issues and expressed their commitment to work closely together.

Bayley expressed the British Government’s firm commitment to support Pakistan in its resolve towards fighting corruption and carrying out the accountability process for justice to ensure transparency.

Earlier this month, Akbar had said the government has finalised a broad-based mutual legal assistance law to obtain evidence from foreign jurisdictions about financial crimes and mega corruption cases involving Pakistanis.

Addressing the media on October 14, he had said Pakistan has already signed a treaty with Britain which will help speed up the investigations into different high profile asset cases.

The special assistant to the premier had also announced he will meet his counterpart of national crime agency during his visit to Britain and hold discussions on pending requests for extradition, including that of former finance minister Ishaq Dar.

Further, he had said that the government is exploring the option of initiating civil proceedings in Britain as it will ensure early return of the plundered amount.

In September, Javid visited Islamabad and said the UK will work closely with Pakistani authorities in their fight against money laundering.